Speak your peace: Pay attention
By Amber Kiggens-Leifheit
MACF Executive Director
The Marshfield Area Community Foundation sponsors the Speak Your Peace Civility Project. The basic principles are simple and straightforward and involve the idea that it is often not what is said but how it is said that initiates conflict. The more we all learn about polite, civil discussion is a good thing. It is worth a try, and it may help bring our community together. This week we will examine: Pay Attention.
P.M. Forni, the author of “Choosing Civility,” writes, “Without attention no meaningful interaction is possible. Our first responsibility when we are with (each) other is to pay attention. Only after we notice the world can we begin to care for it. Every act of kindness is an act of attention.”
I know I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of my own life and often do not recognize what is happening around me. I justify this as being too busy, but I should take the time to pay attention.
Did I notice that a co-worker was upset? Did I notice the friend I had lunch with seemed a bit quiet? Did I move over in traffic to let that driver in so she would not be stuck there forever? All of these are small acts and would not take much to do. They are important.
What gets in the way of you paying attention? I think we all want to pay attention, but there are things, processes, or people that distract us from our work. It is important to identify your own personal barriers. Once you identify these obstacles, consider the situation if you removed them. What kind of impact would it have on your work? What kind of impact would it have on your ability to get along with others?
Think what could happen if we all tried to pay better attention.
If you are interested to learn more, visit marshfieldareacommunityfoundation.org/index.php?page=speak-your-peace, or give us a call at 715-384-9029.